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Category: "Family"

Anniversary Weekend

  06/27/11 23:28, by , Categories: General, Family

June 4th was our 6th wedding anniversary. For some reason, we were having a tough time deciding what to do to celebrate. Molly’s parents were coming to town for the weekend and my company was having an outing to Friday night’s Indians game. We decided that we would have enough romance during our upcoming vacation to Boston, we didn’t need to make the anniversary weekend exclusive.

Molly and I went to the baseball game with my company. The Indians lost, but we had a good time.

Saturday, Molly’s parents showed up before noon. We went to Panera for lunch and then went to The Melting Pot for dinner. For our anniversary, I got Molly tickets to go see Josh Groban. “You Raise Me Up” was in our wedding and she has all of his albums, so I thought it would be a great present. The idea occurred to me late in the week and I was so excited that I had finally thought of something she would enjoy, that I paid more for the tickets than I would have otherwise. When I gave them to her, she just kind of went “Oh.” Apparently, I overestimated how much she likes Josh Groban.

Well, after an excellent meal at The Melting Pot, we went to the concert.

The coolest part of the show was when Josh Groban was answering questions from people in the audience and one was a music teacher who asked if she could sing with him. He brought her up to the stage and they sang “The Prayer” together. This girl sang wonderfully, even in front of that huge crowd. It was awesome. (video)

Another neat part of the show was when the Indians game at Progressive field next door ended, Josh was in the middle of a story about a war-torn soldier as an intro for one of his songs. They had fireworks after the game, so there were loud booms coming from outside. (Yes, they have fireworks even after they lose.) Groban said it was the oddest thing that’s ever happened at one of his shows, but I think it fit well with the story and song.
I think Molly liked the concert more than she thought she would, but if I had it to do over again, I would save my money. Oh well, we live and learn.

Molly got me a present, too: a gift card for Jimmy John’s! I think she wins this year’s best anniversary gift award.

We went to church in the morning, but left right after the sermon so we could make it to the Indians game. Once again, they lost. Luckily, we don’t depend on them winning to have a good time.
Back at the house, we taught Allen and Melanie how to play Golf (the card game). We couldn’t figure out how she was doing it, but Melanie managed to always get the cards she needed. Suffice it to say that she won the game handily.

That was it for the weekend, but on Wednesday I joined Molly and her company for their outing to an Indians game. Guess what. They lost! It was a noon game and the sun was torturous. At one point, most of the people were huddled in the back under the shade, but some of us stuck it out in the heat. Molly’s co-workers got to see a side of her they’ve never seen before. At work, everyone knows her as a sweet and quiet girl, but she’s very boisterous when it comes to cheering on (or critisizing) the Indians.

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Memorial Day 2011

  06/25/11 22:08, by , Categories: Family

Friday, May 27th, I went to see Eisley and Christie Dupree at the Grog Shop with Karl and John from work. The concert was really great. Those girls can sing! I got to meet Christie after her set and I told her how I only knew about Eisley because I used to subscribe to her Xanga back in the day. I’m not sure if it came off as creepy or cool. :/

The next morning, Molly and I went to PA. Nicholas was home, so the holiday weekend provided a good opportunity for the whole family to be together. Once we arrived, we hung out with my family for a while before heading over to Donald and Tiara’s new house for dinner. Matt and Calvin showed up and we had some burgers and hot dogs. Our goal for the night was to not reminisce about high school and, surprisingly, we did a good job. We learned a new card game from Calvin, called Golf, which was pretty fun.

Sunday, we went to church and had a picnic with some friends afterward. Dad recently found a set of Jarts at a yard sale. They’ve been banned from stores in the US since 1988. I think he takes a little pride in owning a set. Mark Fisher and I played against Daniel and Dad. I was pretty horrible and Daniel was surprisingly good. Dad and Daniel ended up beating Mark and I, despite the 1 point I scored. Following evening church services, we had a cookout. Nothing better in blistering heat than sitting around a fire for a couple hours.

Dustin, Maria and Nicholas

Monday, Daniel, Nicholas and Pop met me at the Country Cupboard restaurant next to our hotel. Molly joined us near the end of the meal because she had been working out in the fitness center and Mom stopped by to drop off Maria to go swimming. So after breakfast, Molly and I took Maria swimming at the hotel pool. There was another little girl there who was very outgoing and loved the word “actually.” ("Actually, I’m a mermaid!") Maria was more subdued than usual, which made for a pretty good time. I think her favorite thing to do was play with Molly and splash me in the face whenever I got near.

The family playing Bocce

Around lunch time, we picked up some Penn State Creamery ice cream to take to my parents’ house because some of my co-workers who went to college at Penn State told me it was the best ice cream in the world. I have to admit that it was pretty amazing ice cream. (I’ve never tasted anything that beats Cold Stone Creamery’s sweet cream with Oreo and caramel, though.) After lunch, we played Bocce out in the heat. Everyone kept throwing the pallino into the shade, but we all immediately headed for the house (and a/c) once the game was over.

We had a great time with family and friends, but soon enough it was time for Molly and I to head home.

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Christmas in February

  02/06/11 23:13, by , Categories: Family

Nicholas has been back in the US since the first of January. He had leave for the past three weeks and has been spending it with our family in Pennsylvania. This past weekend, Molly and I went out to see him. We also finally got to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family, since they didn’t make it to the New York Christmas party.

Friday, Molly and I left work early and headed out to PA. After checking in at the hotel, I went over to James and Michelle’s for a Rock Band party. Nicholas and Daniel were there as well as Nicole, Megan and Andrea. I never played with so many people; it was a lot of fun. Molly’s not a fan of Rock Band, so she stayed back at the hotel and made use of the gym.

Saturday morning, we met up with Pop, Daniel and Nicholas at Perkins for breakfast. Then we headed to my parents’ house to prepare for lunch. I helped my mom make broccoli and mushroom lasagna, which turned out great. After noon, my aunts Sheila, Ellen and Karen arrived from New York and we ate lunch. Then we opened presents in a whirlwind of wrapping and tissue paper. The three little girls got a bunch of crafts that they couldn’t wait to open (but had to)! They also spent most of the day monopolizing Molly’s time, but that’s just because they know how awesome she is.

After dessert and some visiting, my aunts headed out. My dad and I tried to watch the Kenny Wayne Shepherd DVD I got him, but there were a lot of interruptions. We got to enjoy a lot of it, though. Once all the kids were in bed, most of the adults settled down to a game of 500 Rummy. Unfortunately, the game ended without a winner because three of us were counting Jokers as 50 points and two of us were only counting them as 25 points. We had fun anyway, since most of us were tired and the Sullivans get really goofy when they are tired.

This morning, we went to bible study and worship. Mom and the girls weren’t there because Maria was sick. Molly and I felt kind of bad because when we were putting the girls to bed, we kept telling them how we would see them in the morning. We should be meeting up with my family next month, so I guess we’ll get to see them then.

It was really great to be able to spend so much time with Nicholas this weekend. I’m very grateful that he is safe and back with us.

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New York Christmas

  01/10/11 13:51, by , Categories: Family

Molly and I took Friday the 7th off from work and drove up to Naples, NY where two of my aunts live. Last year, we went up Saturday morning and stayed at Bristol Views Bed and Breakfast for the night. We liked it so much that this time around we decided to stay two nights.

We arrived a little after 5pm and unloaded the car. Then we headed down into town for dinner. We ate at a fairly new restaurant called Roots Cafe. The outside of the building was painted a bold purple and turquoise. The color inside was toned down, but the decor was as boldly unique as the outside. The menu was comprised of foods made from local and organic ingredients, but it was pretty limited - less than 10 items written on a chalkboard with one option already erased. My order resulted in a second item being removed from the board. I had vegetable lasagna, which was very tasty but could have done with a light tomato sauce to keep it from being so dry. Molly had shrimp scampi on risotto. I’m not a fan of risotto, but Molly thoroughly enjoyed her meal. Since Molly is so nice, she shared some shrimp with me and I’m able to say that it was cooked perfectly. We finished off our meal with a slice of New York cheesecake drizzled with tangy caramel and lightly topped with a sour cream blend. It took a little getting used to, but we both enjoyed it. The restaurant was on the pricey side, but I think that can be expected from most places that strive to use locally grown and organic foods.

After dinner, we went back to the bed and breakfast. They had a hot tub out on the porch that Molly talked me into. I’m glad she did because it was an interesting experience. Our bodies were nice and warm in the water while snow was falling on our heads. The only downside was when we got out, put on our snow coated robes and had to run back into the house through the snow on our bare feet, but it was worth it.

In the morning, we had some delicious blueberry pancakes and headed over to my aunts’ house. Molly brought a white chocolate cream cheese ball, which was a huge hit. My immediate family couldn’t make it because a bunch of them were sick, but we still had a great time opening presents, eating food and visiting with my extended family.

When we started getting tired, Molly and I spent the rest of our evening relaxing back at the bed & breakfast. Sunday morning, we had some whipped eggs and took our time packing up for the trip home.

We had a really nice weekend. I’m glad we took a day off from work to enjoy it a little more. I think we’ll do it again next year.

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Nicholas Deployed to Afghanistan

  06/16/10 09:56, by , Categories: Family

My brother Nicholas, who is in the Marines, is on his way to Afghanistan today. My utmost hope for the next 7 months is that he stays safe. He’s a very smart and virtuous man and I am proud to be the brother of someone with such character.

Nicholas in gear

If you’d like to send him a care package, this is his address:

CPL Sullivan, Nicholas R
2/6 Echo Co 3rd Plt
Unit 76267
FPO AE 09510-6267

These are the items he has requested:

  • Pictures
  • Socks size 12-13 (Long for wear with boots)
  • AA batteries
  • Drink mix (gatorade, etc.)
  • Cereal bars
  • Baby wipes (for hygiene)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Chapstick
  • Lotion
  • Jolly ranchers
  • Dust-off (canned air)
  • Q-Tips

I’m sure letters and prayers are appreciated as well.

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